The former CNN host, Don Lemon, made a stunning announcement in a statement on Monday saying that he was fired by CNN.
“I was informed this morning by my agent that I have been terminated by CNN,” Lemon was quoted as saying in the statement. “I am stunned. After 17 years at CNN I would have thought that someone in management would have had the decency to tell me directly.”
“At no time was I ever given any indication that I would not be able to continue to do the work I have loved at the network,” Lemon reportedly continued in the statement. “It is clear that there are some larger issues at play. With that said, I want to thank my colleagues and the many teams I have worked with for an incredible run.”
“They are the most talented journalists in the business, and I wish them all the best,” he added.
— Don Lemon (@donlemon) April 24, 2023
Following the appointment of CNN’s new CEO Chris Licht, who expressed his intention to restore the company’s credibility and minimize hyper-partisanship, Don Lemon was dismissed from his position. Lemon had previously been engaged in a dispute with his co-hosts, and was under fire for his statements about former UN ambassador Nikki Haley.
According to a report in Variety, Lemon has been the subject of allegations since 2008, alleging that he did not treat women well in the workplace.
The report states that in 2008, when Lemon was hosting CNN’s “Live From” with Kyra Phillips, tensions between the two had increased “for months” before reaching a boiling point when Phillips got an assignment that Lemon wanted. After Phillips returned from the assignment, she allegedly received a text message from an anonymous number that said, “Now you’ve crossed the line, and you’re going to pay for it.” The messages were later “traced back to Lemon,” according to the report.
The report also alleged that Lemon called one of the female producers fat to her face and reportedly mocked then-CNN anchor Nancy Grace while on the air, offending some at the network. Lemon also reportedly had issues with then-CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien after she was named host of the network’s “Black in America” docuseries. Lemon reportedly said during an editorial call that she was not black.
O’Brien said in the report, “Don has long had a habit of saying idiotic and inaccurate things, so it sounds pretty on brand for him.”
Former colleagues reportedly complained about Lemon’s “diva-like behavior.”
One woman interviewed by CNN claimed that the network stopped putting her on air after she criticized Lemon, while another woman claimed that Lemon had changed over time into someone who “likes fame, likes power. He was no longer the same person.”